The 14th seed, now down to a world ranking of 74, ended a lamentable sequence of seven consecutive opening-match defeats on the ATP Tour this year with Monday's win over the world number 93, who was competing in his first hard-court match of the year.
Agassi was broken in the first set, but lifted his game to break straight back against the 24-year-old Italian. The American dropped a second set which included five breaks of serve, but recovered from a 3-0 deficit in the third set to win in 1hr 55min.
Agassi said: "You've got to start somewhere... I've been working hard on movement. I was able to go from being a Sherman tank to really covering some real estate out there in the space of a few days."
In this tournament last year Agassi was disqualified after persistently swearing and hitting a ball into the stands.
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